‘I still sense that we're at impasse’: Rand Paul on Senate GOP health care bill

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a key opponent of the Republican health care bill, in a television news interview on Wednesday. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., thinks progress on the GOP Senate health care bill has come to a standstill.

In a Thursday morning appearance on “Fox & Friends,” the libertarian-leaning Republican acknowledged that his party is having trouble settling on a plan to implement campaign promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“I still sense that we’re at impasse, and I said that yesterday at lunch with our Republican caucus and everybody kind of laughed because, yeah, there’s still quite a bit of disagreement,” Paul said.

Republicans narrowly pushed the American Health Care Act through the House of Representatives in May. Now conservatives are having trouble garnering enough votes to get the Senate bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, approved.

According to Paul, his Republican colleagues are divided between conservatives and moderates.

“There’s basically two factions. There are conservatives like myself who don’t want new federal programs, we want to repeal Obamacare. And then there’s the moderates who kind of want to keep some of Obamacare, and they’re not too opposed to new federal government programs.”

Paul suggested dividing the Better Care Reconciliation Act into two parts. The first would repeal everything about Obamacare that Republicans dislike — taxes, regulations and certain aspects of Medicaid.

“No Democrats will vote for anything good like that, but Democrats will always vote for spending,” he said. “So the big-government Republicans who want more spending take the spending and put it in a bill that the Democrats will vote for.”

Paul, who said President Trump was open to this idea when he ran it by him, is considered one of the most adamant opponents of the Republican health care bill in its current state. He has argued that it doesn’t do enough to cut down on government spending.

Because of this in-party rebellion, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was forced to delay a scheduled vote on the health care bill until after the Fourth of July recess.

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